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Realistic graphics and the "Uncanny Valley"


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not sure if it was in the PS1 version.. but MGS:TT has some decent real video sequences when talking about the cold war, nuclear storage etc. They could've easily hvae done that with the engine, but they didn't... and those sequences are all the better and, more importantly, have MUCH more impact by using real video.

He said "muff", huh-huh.

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Slightly off-topic but I find FMV in a game (such as Metal Gear Solid) quite off putting.

"Ooh look - that's real life that is" my mind tells me.

It doesn't fit in the with game world at all. Fortunately it works in MGS which is a game that loves to break the 'fourth wall' on a regular basis.

Having an FMV intro to a car game would be a bad idea I feel. "Look, here's what real life looks like - and here's what our graphics look like. Spot the difference?"

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Same thing happens with the likes of GT's rendered intros though, IMO. Where you've got to use non-in-game graphics, surely just going straight to real life is best, unless your game has a particular visual style?

Very true.

But a CG intro is less of a style jump and can help get you in the right frame of mind for a videogame. Personally doing cutscenes in-engine is becoming increasingly preferrable for me. After all, Metal Gear might have an FMV clip but it doesn't have a single CG cutscene. :P

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Virtua Tennis on the DC - fear Tim Henman and his zombie like viasge! :unsure:

Phillapousis (spelling?) looks like the Wolfman.

I lived in a house a few years back where everyone played Virtua Tennis and whenever anyone lost a point in a really dumb manner we'd all go: "Braaiins...".

None of us had girlfriends.

Um.

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also... LotR games make a big thing about going from live action to in game... except all that happens is that your brain goes "hmm.. that looks a bit shit doesn't it"... just as well the games are fun!

My brain only did that once, and that was when it was focused on Gimli, because the model wasn't that great close up. I think it's actually the best way to go from FMV to engine graphics - people are more likely to be annoyed by an instant change in graphical quality from one moment to the next (punctuated with that little pause that always seems to happen) than by a blending effect between the two.

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In 1978, the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori noticed something interesting: The more humanlike his robots became, the more people were attracted to them, but only up to a point. If an android become too realistic and lifelike, suddenly people were repelled and disgusted.

The problem, Mori realized, is in the nature of how we identify with robots. When an android, such as R2-D2 or C-3PO, barely looks human, we cut it a lot of slack. It seems cute. We don't care that it's only 50 percent humanlike. But when a robot becomes 99 percent lifelike—so close that it's almost real—we focus on the missing 1 percent. We notice the slightly slack skin, the absence of a truly human glitter in the eyes. The once-cute robot now looks like an animated corpse. Our warm feelings, which had been rising the more vivid the robot became, abruptly plunge downward. Mori called this plunge "the Uncanny Valley," the paradoxical point at which a simulation of life becomes so good it's bad.

As video games have developed increasingly realistic graphics, they have begun to suffer more and more from this same conundrum. Games have unexpectedly fallen into the Uncanny Valley.

Fuck! sometimes the obvious isnt so obvious - he really has got a point there.

:):):P

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Alot of this though has already been noticed I think. Theres far more cut scenes done nowadays 'in engine' than otherwise with plot development done in games to a greater extent too by the use of prescripted events. Even Final Fantasy games that continue to use ultra styalised FMV don't look to have speaking and lip syncing involved if they can help it. Anime has a far greater influence than real to life looks. I am put off of a lot of western produced games because they seem to prefer real to life look and drab urban settings.

Also could you imagine a game like Animal Crossing with real to life looking characters and lip syncing?

I personally fell in love with my Advance Wars Units which absolutely oozed character with nothing near real to life graphics and no lips to speak of (or with) at all.

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I think part of the reason we are more critical is because we have a frame of reference - i.e. humans. We can easily identify what is wrong when judged against what we know. With robots we have nothing to compare against, so we take it at face value.

It'll be a while until we get working animation in-game that can convey the range of emotions a single human face can, and not only that, but having characters that can walk in a realistic manner, with a supleness and fluidity.

And yes, VT characters were scary - the French guy (Cedric Pioline?) - spooky!

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also... LotR games make a big thing about going from live action to in game... except all that happens is that your brain goes "hmm.. that looks a bit shit doesn't it"... just as well the games are fun!

I thought that did a superb job of easing you into the game engine.

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